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Gainesville names Yarbrough fire chief
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Jerome Yarbrough has been named Gainesville fire chief.

City officials announced the hire Monday, two weeks after Yarbrough, who had been serving as interim chief, was named sole finalist.

“I am confident Jerome will do an excellent job as chief,” City Manager Kip Padgett said. “His experience and knowledge of the fire department and involvement in the community made him the ideal candidate.”

Yarbrough will be sworn in at today’s Gainesville City Council meeting, which is set to start at 5:30 p.m. at the Public Safety Complex, 701 Queen City Parkway.

The new chief said he looks forward to the new job.

“There’s always plenty of work to do and I’m excited about the challenge,” he said. “We are currently focusing on end-of-the-year training requirements, transferring from paper to software and Web-based mobile technology.

“These updates will improve proficiency on the fire scene, fire prevention and prefire plans.”

Yarbrough has worked for the city for 28 years. He has served in the fire prevention division since 1997 as a fire inspector and arson investigator.

He served as a fire marshal before being named deputy fire chief in August 2008 and interim fire chief in October 2012.

Yarbrough was among 49 candidates for the job to replace Chief Jon Canada, who announced his retirement in the fall.

“It’s a goal I set for myself a long time ago,” he said last week after being named the finalist.

Mayor Danny Dunagan has said he has “full confidence that (Yarbrough) will do a fine job.”

Yarbrough is a Gainesville High School graduate and attended Lanier Technical College as well as the Georgia Public Safety Training Center and the National Fire Academy.

He currently serves on the board of directors for several area organizations and is a member of the Georgia Association of Fire Chiefs, Georgia State Firefighters Association, National Fire Protection Association and the International Fire Marshal’s Association.

Yarbrough, who also is retired from the U.S. Army, is married with five children.